October 02, 2015

Rivier University hosts International Peace Conference on October 17

“Israel/Palestine: Shadows of the Past–Visions of the Future”

Rivier University Reconciliation and Peace classes, the Palestine Education Network, and NH Peace Action are sponsoring a conference exploring the challenge of peace and reconciliation amidst conflict in the Middle East on Saturday, October 17. The conference will take place from 8:45 a.m. - 4 p.m. on the Rivier campus, 420 South Main Street in Nashua.

“This conference creates a space for different narratives and dialogue on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” says Professor Brother Paul R. Demers, S.C., D. Min. “Participants will examine the past and gain an understanding of the present in hopes of creating a more positive future.”

Internationally renowned speakers, activists and artists will lend their voices and works to the discussion. The day will include several workshops, a photo exhibition, and a film screening to provide a variety of perspectives on the Middle East, conditions in Israel/Palestine, and the struggles and suffering borne in the pursuit of peace and justice.

/uploadedImages/News/2015/Dr. Alice Rothschild_Keynote Speaker.pngKeynote speaker Dr. Alice Rothchild is a physician, activist, author and filmmaker. Her presentation Gaza Eyewitness Report: From Disaster to Resilience details the findings of her March delegation to Gaza with Washington Physician’s for Social Responsibility—exploring realities on the ground, the impact of the war and the siege, and the trauma and resilience experienced by the civilian population and care givers in the health and human rights fields. A screening of her documentary film Voices Across the Divide will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Workshop presenters include Palestinian rights advocate Nancy Murray, participatory photographer Skip Schiel, Jewish Voice for Peace Organizer Liza Behrendt, Reverends Fay and John Buttrick, and photojournalist Robert Azzi. Presentations will cover a range of topics from current issues and sanctions to Israeli peacemakers to a vision of the future–one state versus two states.

Rivier students enrolled in the University’s Junior Year Seminar “Challenge of Peace” are hosting the conference. This class offers a critical study of the human and economic costs of violence, non-violent alternatives, conflict resolution, and the role of the individual, family, school, and organized religion in developing an orientation for peace and justice.

The program is free and open to the public. Registration in the Dion Center begins at 8:15 a.m. Lunch will be available for $7.

For more information, please contact Br. Paul R. Demers, S.C. at, Will Thomas at, or Sandra Yarne at


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